Vacuum sintering is the process of forming a single mass from multiple components, typically powder, by heat and/or pressure without melting the base materials to the point of liquefaction. It is imperative that the sintering atmosphere be clean enough to prevent oxidation, otherwise the surfaces of the powder are not clean enough to bond to each other. This makes vacuum the ideal atmosphere for sintering. As in annealing, brazing, and stress relieving, vacuum sintering may assure the parts remain bright at the outset. Precise temperature control is paramount in sintering and most of the time the temperature is higher than typical heat treating processes.